Dozens of US Jewish centers report second wave of bomb threats
NEW YORK, Jan 18 (Reuters) - At least 28 Jewish community centers in 17 U.S. states reported receiving false telephone bomb threats on Wednesday, prompting evacuations in the second wave of hoax attacks to target American Jewish facilities this month.
The JCC Association of North America, a network of health and education centers, said the threatened organizations were working with local police and many had resumed operations after no bombs were found or injuries reported, as was the case after the earlier series of threats on Jan. 9.
Noone claimed responsibility for the calls on Wednesday or nine days ago and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has not named any suspects or described a likely motive.
In Miami Beach, a center received a call at 9:54 a.m. (1454 GMT) and was evacuated, local police said on Twitter. Officers and police dogs searched the area but found no bomb and the center reopened, they said.
Two centers in Connecticut said on Facebook they had received threatening phone calls and had evacuated. No bombs were found, they said.
The Jan. 9 threats targeted 16 Jewish community centers in nine U.S. states, prompting the FBI to look into the source of the calls, some of them made using an automated "robocall" system.
An FBI spokeswoman could not immediately be reached on Wednesday.
It was not immediately clear if there was overlap between centers that received calls on Jan. 9 and those that received them on Wednesday, but the volume of threats was unheard-of, said Paul Goldenberg, national director of the Secure Community Network, a nonprofit that advises Jewish groups on security.
"These are individuals or groups that want to disrupt our way of life," Goldenberg said, adding that they would not succeed. "We're not going to shut down institutions because of this."
The calls on Wednesday were similar to those last week, the JCC Association of North America said in a statement. After the earlier threats, staff took part in training and reviewed security plans, it said.
"While we're extremely proud of our JCCs for professionally handling yet another threatening situation, we are concerned about the anti-Semitism behind these threats," David Posner, director of strategic performance at the association, said in the statement. (Reporting by David Ingram in New York; Editing by Andrew Hay)